Sporting*Goods: World Cup Winner Crowned, NBA Power Balance Restored and A Fallen Yankee

Messi after the tough World Cup final loss to Germany.

Germany


As the middle of the summer approaches, sports are supposed to be on the downswing. That is not the case this year. Between the World Cup, NBA Free Agency and the MLB All-Star Game coming up, there has been no shortage of sports news. Here are the top sports news from the past week:

Cup Champ Crowned

After a month of late game drama, rising stars and fading ones, the 2014 FIFA World Cup finally came to a close on Sunday. Lionel Messi led his Argentina squad against the soccer machine that is the German National Team, falling short in extra time, 1-0.

Messi vs. The Machine did not disappoint, with 90 minutes not enough to crown a champion. Argentina had a golden opportunity early in the match when a German turnover gave Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuaín an open shot that he gagged away. The Germans returned the favor missing on a header right before the half.

Messi after the tough World Cup final loss to Germany.

Messi after the tough World Cup final loss to Germany.

Messi, the main attraction of the match, seemed to fade as the game went on. He told reporters prior to the match his legs felt like they weighed 100 kilos each. It sure looked like it down the stretch. He tried to push the tempo early, creating a couple opportunities for himself, but it just wasn’t in the cards. In the second half of extra time Bayern Munich’s Mario Götze scored a beauty to give Germany the Cup and helped his country become the first European team to win a World Cup in South America.

Balance Restored After four years of predictable outcomes, the NBA has finally got some sort of power balance. No longer is it going to be a foregone conclusion that the Finals will be Miami versus Team X. As you must know by the now LeBron James decided to go back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, leaving Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with good memories. Bosh re-upped with Miami for a 5-year deal worth $118 million while James took a 2-year deal worth $42 million.   The New York Knicks had better luck than their rivals in South Beach, keeping their star Carmelo Anthony. After a noble effort from the Chicago Bulls, Anthony chose the money and Phil Jackson over Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Tom Thibodeau. Anthony’s deal to come back to New York is a 5 year deal worth north of $120 million. All isn’t bad for Chicago who signed former Laker Pau Gasol. Gasol is a gifted scorer in the post and should fit beautifully with defensive minded Noah. 

Things didn’t go so good for the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets this week. The Nets lost Paul Pierce to the Wizards after giving up an arm and a leg to get him and Kevin Garnett last summer. So much for that. Now the Nets must think on their feet before they become the New Jersey Nets all over again. Houston did not suffer as big a loss. After thinking they had Bosh bagged up only to be outbid by Miami at the last minute, it was assumed they’d match the offer sheet for rising talent Chandler Parsons. Nope. Instead they gave Trevor Ariza $32 million over four years. Yikes. Parsons will now suit up for Texas rival Dallas, which will add an interesting twist in the rivalry.

Fall from Grace

New York Yankees star rookie Masahiro Tanaka has looked indestructible this season. He has been one of the lone bright spots on another injury ravaged season for the Yankees. The Japanese ace could do no wrong.It seemed every time he took the mound the Yankees won. Then his elbow started hurting. Now he is on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Hopefully this is a small road bump in a sensational rookie campaign. Come on baseball gods it’s Derek Jeter’s last year, can you give the Yankees a break?